Rustic bench

  • Advertise with us
Project by BillG posted 10-10-2014 01:37 PM 1771 views 9 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always like live edge pieces. A few years ago, I took down a large maple with a nice crotch in it, along with a hickory and a white oak. I had them sawn into boards and planks. The maple turned out to be mildly infested with the ambrosia beetle. This produces a maple with beetle holes and stained grain around the holes created by a bacteria in the holes left by the beetle.

After sitting for five years in my lumber shed, I built this bench using a crotch slab for the top and hickory for the legs and stretchers. The natural edge was kept on the slab and the outer bark removed. I sawed the hickory into the basic components for the support pieces and did the turning for the leg and stretcher tenons on the lathe. The final shaping was done with a draw knife and spoke shave to give a hewn appearance to the components.

I used a chestnut brown stain on the entire bench and then re-sanded the top surface of the bench. I left the top unstained, to provide a contrast and accentuate the grain and beetle tracks as well as the cocobolo key inserted into the split in the crotch.

The finish is a wash coat of amber shellac followed by several coats of General finishes “Enduro-Var” a water based varnish. I think this is currently one of the better water based finishes available today. I have used both the brush-on and the spray finishes with excellent success.

-- Bill G - West Springfield, MA

7 comments so far

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 1031 days

#1 posted 10-10-2014 06:11 PM

I have definitely got to make one like this, very very nice. The parts I like the best are the dovetail piece across the inclusion and how you hand hewed the legs and structural members after completing your joinery.

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View ex-member's profile


186 posts in 1194 days

#2 posted 10-10-2014 06:27 PM

Really nice. I love the Dutchman…love the legs…really well done. Heh…you say “rustic” there is nothing rustic about this bench.

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2109 days

#3 posted 10-11-2014 01:25 AM

Love the design.
Love the bowtie.
Love the joinery.
Love the wood choices.
Not sure about the stain :)

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View ElChe's profile


630 posts in 756 days

#4 posted 10-11-2014 02:10 AM

The bench looks like it breathes. So lively. Great work.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

View steliart's profile


1817 posts in 2108 days

#5 posted 10-12-2014 07:12 PM

nice !!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions - --

View Gibernak's profile


124 posts in 1266 days

#6 posted 10-13-2014 06:50 PM

I really like it, its very rustic and beautiful. great work, thanks for sharing.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1595 days

#7 posted 10-14-2014 08:50 PM

I like the rustic look. No way will I be able to make something like this.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics